Down into Darkness: A Detective Stella Mooney Novel [NOOK Book]


The naked body of a young woman is found hanging from a tree on a London roadside. Scrawled across her back are the words "DIRTY GIRL."     Detective Stella Mooney is faced with a murder as baffling as it is chilling. With no means to identify the victim and no apparent motive, the case is blocked, until a man is found on a bench by the river, his throat cut back to the vertebrae. And, as before, the killer has left a trademark comment: "FILTHY COWARD."     Stella and her ...
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Down into Darkness: A Detective Stella Mooney Novel

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The naked body of a young woman is found hanging from a tree on a London roadside. Scrawled across her back are the words "DIRTY GIRL."     Detective Stella Mooney is faced with a murder as baffling as it is chilling. With no means to identify the victim and no apparent motive, the case is blocked, until a man is found on a bench by the river, his throat cut back to the vertebrae. And, as before, the killer has left a trademark comment: "FILTHY COWARD."     Stella and her team can see there's a connection--but what? One victim is a young girl, maybe one of the hookers who work the Strip; the other, a researcher for a prominent and controversial member of Parliament. More evidence is needed. And soon enough it comes: another death; another message....

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

While Lawrence, a notable British poet, is still largely unknown to American fans of police procedurals, that should change with his successful fourth outing featuring London detective Stella Mooney (after 2006's Cold Kill). Mooney takes on a gruesome case when the corpse of a young woman is found hanging from a tree, defaced with cryptic writing. The motive for the crime is still elusive when a second body turns up, almost decapitated, with another scrawled message. Mooney and her team work frantically to link the two before the body count rises, even as the killer works to complete his mission. Mooney's complicated personal life is accessible to the new reader, and Lawrence masterfully draws out the tensions and freshens a cat-and-mouse plot line with sensitive writing and perceptive characterizations. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

The body of a young woman is found hanging in a London park. Scrawled on her back are the words dirty girl. Det. Sgt. Stella Mooney, having to deal with a new boss whose investigative methods differ from hers, is puzzled. Soon, the authorities discover the body of a man with another message written on it. The team suspects a serial killer is at work. In Lawrence's fourth procedural featuring Mooney (after Cold Kill), the author, an award-winning British poet, once again skillfully interweaves complex plot lines with the personal lives of his police officers to create a complete world. He conjures a startling reality in his books: his plots do not at all involve the usual fare; his serial killers are motivated by uniquely individual reasons. Readers will be reminded of Peter Lovesey at his best. Highly recommended for all collections. Lawrence lives in London.

—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
Another shadowy serial killer battles DS Stella Mooney and her investigative team. The first victim is a young woman found hanging from a tree above a London street, her body adorned with the cryptic phrase "DIRTY GIRL." She's soon followed by a political researcher labeled "FILTHY COWARD," an editor tagged "LYING BASTARD" and a beheaded schoolteacher marked "HAPPY NOW?" Although the efficient killer has left barely a clue for Stella and her squad (Cold Kill, 2006, etc.), Lawrence wastes no time in revealing his identity to the reader. What remains mysterious to all hands is his motive for selecting these particular victims, dispatching them in the varied ways he's chosen, leaving behind a signature logo consisting of three V's and adding those baleful epitaphs, as if he were blaming his targets for their murders. As if the case weren't tough enough to crack, Stella's congenial boss, sidelined by a heart attack, has been replaced by an acting DI she's never liked, and one of the prospective victims the coppers have been assigned to protect seems to be involved in both hush-hush adultery and criminal mischief. Only a feverish brainwave will give Stella the break she needs to dope out the killer's complex, compelling, but not quite believable motive. The mystery in Lawrence's fourth is upstaged by the flavorful portrait of London and the continuing cast, all eminently worth your time.
From the Publisher
Unanimous Acclaim for David Lawrence

"Rough dialogue, intricate plotting, and cascading suspense...Readers are sure to want to see more of the memorable Stella."

- Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Dead Sit Round in a Ring

"Outstanding...highly recommended."

- Library Journal (starred review) on Cold Kill

"Unique...Lawrence's stylish, intelligent prose and complex characters mark him as a rising star."

- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Nothing Like the Night

"Lawrence, a published poet, writes with a delicacy and restraint rare in the genre.... That's a voice you want to hear again."

- Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review on The Dead Sit Round in a Ring

"Fluently written, imaginative, tightly paced, and drenched in Zeitgeist. In the combination of police procedural, sociology, and hard-boiled lyricism, Lawrence recalls Ed McBain."

- The Independent (UK) on Down into Darkness

"Striking...earns pride of place deep in the darkest circle of noir, down past Ian Rankin and John Harvey to the shadows where lurk Ken Bruen and Derek Raymond."

- Booklist (starred review) on The Dead Sit Round in a Ring

"Deserves more recognition from American readers who have taken up Ian Rankin and Ken Bruen. Think Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect. This book should be on every mystery lover's reading list."

- Rocky Mountain News (Grade A) on Cold Kill

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466829572
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/13/2007
  • Series: Detective Stella Mooney Novels , #4
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 695,161
  • File size: 496 KB

Meet the Author

David Lawrence, in addition to being a talented novelist, is also an acclaimed poet and highly successful scriptwriter. He won the coveted Forward prize for his poetry in 2005 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2000. Down Into Darkness is his fourth novel in the Detective Stella Mooney series. His previous titles, The Dead Sit Round in a Ring, Nothing Like the Night, and Cold Kill, have received widespread rave reviews. He lives in southwest London.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fabulous Mooney English police procedural

    Down Into Darkness David Lawrence Dunne, Nov 2007, $24.95 ISBN: 9780312347420 In London, the naked body of a murdered female is left hanging from a tree with the words ¿DIRTY GIRL¿ engraved on her back. Police Detective Stella Mooney of the Area Major Investigation Pool is assigned to investigate this brutal killing. However, she and her AMIP team make no progress as the motive remains unknown. Not long afterward, a naked male corpse of a researcher whose neck was sliced to near decapitation with another etched message ¿FILTHY COWARD¿ is found on a bench. Anxious that a serial killer is on the loose although the two homicides have not been linked, Mooney and her AMIP team desperately work to uncover the motives behind the crime before a third victim surfaces. --- The forth Mooney English police procedural is a fabulous cat and mouse investigative thriller. The story line is action-packed from the moment the first message appears and never slows down as the cops struggle with solving a case that terrorizes the city (similar to what Son of Sam did to New Yorkers in 1977). Sub-genre fans will appreciate David Lawrence¿s latest masterful Mooney tale as this is a gripping winner just like its predecessors (see COLD KILL, NOTHING LIKE THE NIGHT and THE DEAD SIT AROUND IN A RING). --- Harriet Klausner

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